Mariah Carey Faces Backlash and Boycotts for Performing in Saudi ArabiaJavonni Brustow
Mariah Carey barely made it 30 days into the year without getting into some global scandal. Given that New Year’s performance scandal and now this, she might want to consider locking herself in the house for the first 30 days of each year for a little while. What happened here is that she was scheduled to perform Thursday, January 31st in Saudi Arabia and was begged not to do so on behalf of the Women’s March and other women’s rights groups.
The tweet from the Women’s March went “Dear @MariahCarey Saudi women human rights activists are being imprisoned and tortured. Please don’t perform tomorrow in Saudi Arabia or make a statement calling on Saudi to release the women prisoners and end the war on Yemen.”
They wanted her to stand in solidarity of women who were detained and mistreated in the country. There’s also the U.S. journalist Khashoggi, believed to have been killed by the Saudi crowned Prince that American journalists see as a reason the country should be boycotted. Those words fell on deaf ears because she performed anyway and her publicists put out a statement to help keep those in objection calm.
“[When] presented with the offer to perform for an international and mixed gender audience in Saudi Arabia, Mariah accepted the opportunity as a positive step towards the dissolution of gender segregation,” Carey’s publicists said in a statement. “As the first female international artist to perform in Saudi Arabia, Mariah recognizes the cultural significance of this event and will continue to support global efforts towards equality for all.”
In the end, Mariah became the first high-profile female to perform in Saudi Arabia since they loosened their conservative stances on entertainment. And for those still arguing that she shouldn’t have done it based on their human rights record, the country has in fact begun to evolve on the matter. The country, long known as the only country in the world that didn’t allow women to drive stopped the longheld practice in 2018. The country is currently looking to make billions in entertainment to spur their economy and it turns out that you can’t do that when you’re a globally known oppressive regime, so the fact that Mariah is willing to take place in this should be seen as a good thing.
Photo Credit: Complex